Farmers in certain places in Haryana are not returning farm loans allegedly at the behest of local politicians, which has led to maximum default cases from the State, a senior official of the Central Bank of India (CBOI) said on Friday.

“Local politicians in districts, including Rewari, Bhiwani and Sirsa, in Haryana are asking farmers not pay bank loans after assuring farmers that their loan will be waived. As a result, loan repayment has been affected,” the Bank’s Zonal Manager (Chandigarh), B Akbaraly, told reporters here.

“Farmers in these areas even dare to say ‘Do whatever you (bank) want to do (for recovery) we will not pay’,” he said.

The bank has maximum loan default and lowest loan recovery in Haryana because of non-payment of farm loan dues.

Out of the bank’s total non-performing assets of Rs 87 crore under the farm loan segment in Chandigarh zone, Haryana has the maximum amount of NPAs at Rs 50 crore.

The bank has doled out agriculture loans of Rs 1,315 crore in its zone, including Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh.

Moreover, the farm loan recovery in Haryana is also 60-70 per cent as compared to the bank’s overall recovery of over 80 per cent, he said.

He added that the bank had also not even able to recover loans by selling agricultural land.

“Whenever land is put up for sale for loan recovery, farmers collectively decide not to participate in the auction process,” he said, adding that not a single land of any loan defaulter could be sold so far.

As a result, the bank has now gone slow in advancing fresh farm loan in these areas of Haryana.

(This article was published on November 16, 2012)
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